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Qatar faces FIFA World Cup bid investigation and infrastructure construction challenges
Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup is facing a range of challanges following a decision by world football's governing body to investigate the nation's bid, new allegations of alleged attempted bribery, and imminent trade union action in protest of Qatar's treatment of foreign workers involved in the construction of World Cup-related infrastructure.
FIFA made its decision to investigate Qatar public after UK newspwaper The Sunday Times handed over evidence that constituted the basis for its reporting that the Arabian Gulf state had discussed sponsoring to the tune of $1 million a gala dinner organized by Samson Adamu, the son of Nigerian FIFA Executive Committee member Amos Adamu.
Adamu Sr was banned for three years from involvement in professional football in 2010 in the run-up to the FIFA vote following a Sunday Times undercover investigation that secretly filmed him offering to sell his vote on the 2018 World Cup for a payment of $1.3 million into his personal bank account, which he said he would use to build football pitches in his native Nigeria.
The newspaper quoted Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi as confirming initial negotiations about the sponsorship of the dinner but insisting that those talks were ultimately broken off after taking FIFA bid rules into consideration.
Qatar has so far successfully fended off repeated allegations of wrong doing in its effort to win the World Cup hosting rights that was far better funded than the bids by its competitors, the United States, Australia and South Korea.
Qatar is also facing global protests over construction workers rights as a result of what the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) describes as inhuman conditions for foreign workers that violate international labour standards. The ITUC is expected to make its rejection of Qatari efforts to improve the material conditions of foreign workers, who account for a majority of the Qatar's population, as insufficient because they do not include recognition of the right to free association and collective bargaining at a climate change conference that opens in Doha later this month.
Last month, the ITUC launched an online campaign calling for a boycott of Qatar if it fails to adhere to international labour standards.
According to respected journalist and football scholar James M. Dorsey, construction industry sources said that Qatar was trying to fend off the ITUC's rights demands by ensuring that companies enforce safety and security standards, pay workers on time and ensuring that they are properly housed.
In his The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog, Dorsey refers sources who say that Qatar has reduced the number of workers allowed to live in one room from eight to four and that it was building a compound for the labourers with modern residential units as well as shops and cinemas.
With acknowledgement to James M. Dorsey, Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog.
The ITUC online campaign can be joined at http://act.equaltimes.org/en/fillastadium
29th October 2012 - GLOBAL WORKERS’ RIGHTS CAMPAIGN TARGETS QATAR WORLD CUP STADIA
29th August 2012 - INVESTIGATION INTO BIDDING PROCESS FOR FIFA 2018 AND 2022 WORLD CUPS
16th May 2011 - QATAR SHOWCASES STADIUM COOLING TECHNOLOGIES
28th December 2010 - BBC REPORT BLASTS FFA’S ‘DIRTY’ WORLD CUP BID
3rd December 2010 - QATAR WINS 2022 WORLD CUP BID
17th February 2010 - BIDS SOUGHT FOR $1 BILLION ABU DHABI FOOTBALL STADIUM
23rd April 2009 - CRICKET STADIUM OPENS AT DUBAI SPORTS CITY
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